On Thursday Justice Department officials indicated that federal prosecutors had accidentally revealed classified material to Proud Boys defense attorneys, in one of the most important trials following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
This information was admitted in court by a DOJ official following the testimony from FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller. Miller had acted as a lead investigator in the Proud Boys case, which led to her providing testimony over two days about the activities of the group on the day of the Capitol attack. This included their march to the Capitol from Washington Monument, as well as their role in the attack.
As part of her testimony, prosecutors provided the defense lawyers with information from internal FBI messages that Miller and her colleagues had shared in relation to this case. This is a relatively standard procedure in criminal cases. In order for all these exchanges to be compiled, the FBI headquarters provided Miller with a spreadsheet of all of the messages from a computer in the “secret” level classification. Miller had made sure to review all the messages in order to ensure that unclassified exchanges that related to the case were the only ones included.
However, it was later revealed that some of the communications that Miller had filtered out from the spreadsheet were still left as “hidden” rows in the Excel spreadsheet, which could mean that the Defense counsel might have been able to view this classified information. Defense counsel after spotting the mistake started asking Miller about those messages during the testimony.